Last night I got home from a long day of classes and decided I wanted pizza. Pizza on a Thursday night? I know, this isn’t groundbreaking. But to me it was. Without judgment I ordered some and ate peacefully without fear. The stress of the day had worn me out and all I wanted was to take a nice hot shower, put a face mask on, and call it a night.
It was there in the bathroom when I went to wash my face that I took a long look at my reflection in the mirror. Not because I was criticizing myself, but because I couldn’t recognize the girl looking back at me.
The girl in the mirror looked so at peace, so rested, so radiant and so happy. Not because she was forcing herself to be, but just because she was. It was then that I began to cry.
These tears weren’t because I was sad but because I was so happy. See, 365 days ago exactly I had packed my suitcase to leave for treatment in Florida. I remember I sat in bed that night and cried because I didn’t know what to expect in treatment. I had all these questions. Who am I without my eating disorder? Is this even worth it? Am I sick enough? Does any of this even matter?
I’m not writing today to say that a year later I’ve answered all these questions. I don’t have all the answers (and I’m not sure I ever will). But I’m figuring out some answers day by day.
I now know that who I am without my eating disorder is a strong, resilient girl who doesn’t stop fighting. I know that every single day has been worth it, even when I’ve fallen down. I know that I always will be worth recovery. And lastly, I know my life is worth it.
I didn’t know that a year ago. I didn’t know that when I sat down in treatment to begin my journey. I thought that I wasn’t worth the peace I have today, and I’m so glad I was wrong.
So, I write this, tears streaming down my face – not because I’m sad, scared and alone like I was 365 days ago. But because I’m living again.
If things are dark right now, I hope this reminds you of how much can change in a year. Just because things are dark tonight doesn’t mean they always will be.
One of my favorite quotes that got me through treatment is “You don’t have to find yourself; you just have to let yourself in.” So here is my message to you: take a deep breath, try to remember who you are, and eat the damn cake.
To everyone who has guided me through recovery, thank you. Your patience, love and support has helped me in ways that words could never explain.